H.R. 4900 text

As reported earlier (and here and here) H.R. 4900 makes some reforms in the ATF regulations and Federal firearms laws. The text of the bill is now available on-line here. It’s all NRA-ILA said it was and more. Alas, it doesn’t do anything of interest to me in terms of explosives, but I’m very happy with what it does in regards to firearms.

The following item was reported by NRA-ILA but was lacking in detail and should be of interest to a great number of people.

SEC. 210. CLARIFICATIONS RELATING TO MANUFACTURING OF FIREARMS.

    (a) Clarification of Definition of Manufacturing- Section 921(a)(10) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: `The term `manufacturing’ shall not include repairing firearms, making or fitting special barrels, stocks, trigger mechanisms, or other parts to firearms, or engraving or otherwise altering the appearance of firearms.’.

    (b) Clarification of Definition of Dealer- Section 921(a)(11)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `or trigger mechanisms to firearms’ and inserting `trigger mechanisms, or other parts to firearms, or engraving or otherwise altering the appearance of firearms’.

Striking, adding, and inserting in the original as described in the bill we end up with:

(10) The term “manufacturer” means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition for purposes of sale or distribution; and the term “licensed manufacturer” means any such person licensed under the provisions of this chapter. The term `manufacturing’ shall not include repairing firearms, making or fitting special barrels, stocks, trigger mechanisms, or other parts to firearms, or engraving or otherwise altering the appearance of firearms.

(11) The term “dealer” means (A) any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail, (B) any person engaged in the business of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, trigger mechanisms, or other parts to firearms, or engraving or otherwise altering the appearance of firearms, or (C) any person who is a pawnbroker. The term “licensed dealer” means any dealer who is licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

Hence gunsmiths need to have a dealers license but not a manufactures license. This is an improvement. But on the downside it means that you need to be careful if you charge a friend for helping him mount a scope on his hunting rifle or give her AR-15 a pink paint job. Conceivable you could be considered to be “in the business” and need a dealers license. This is not the case under current law as I understand it (I am not a lawyer!).

I have to wonder why the Feds should have any interest at all in “engraving or otherwise altering the appearance of firearms”. I think the entire section (B) should be removed but if that is impractical then at least the engraving and appearance should be removed.